This month, our team at Short North had a chance to recognize an outstanding volunteer and they nominated Naomi!
As the nights grow longer, my mind turns to stories. Please indulge me in telling one now, featuring the Volunteer of the Month from Short North, Naomi Cazares.
A mysterious order arrived in the e-Com cue. It had an item name that sounded familiar, but that Lightspeed couldn't describe. It knew nothing else than that we were supposed to have just one, and that there was a customer eagerly waiting for it. This is not an unheard-of challenge, but one that few members of Team Global Gifts relish. Here, to this story, enters Naomi.
Naomi Cazares has been volunteering with us here at Short North since the turn of the year. In that time, she has impressed us with her ability to talk with most anyone, her willingness to try most anything, and her determination to see most any project through to the end. This determination has lead her to attempt and master all processes and stories in the registers' glow upstairs, and has also taken her on expeditions to the flickering corners of the darkened basement that house mannequins from last year's fashions.
It is that determination as well that leads to the end of this story, though hopefully not the end of Naomi's volunteer experience with us. She searched and hunted for that mystery item for the entirety of her shift, switching between her quest and greeting customers with her usual smile, hopping on the register as needed, as well as helping with untold other small necessary projects on the floor. Although that mystery item still remains at large, we at Short North are very glad that Naomi has found us, and has shared her time and skills with us.
We got to talk to Naomi about her experience as a volunteer. Here's what she had to say.
What inspired you to begin volunteering at Global Gifts?
I was inspired to start volunteering at Global Gifts after learning what their mission is. I've always been an activist for fair and safe working conditions, and I always found it important for a business to do everything they can to ensure their workers are happy and safe, safe working conditions are a human right. Global Gifts assured me that this is and should be a reality that every business should strive for. Moreover, Global Gifts made it possible to not only broaden my view on a variety of countries, artisans, and products but also gave me a way to do something good and something that I was proud of. Each time that I volunteer at Global Gifts, I feel like I'm helping a cause, it fills me with happiness and gratitude knowing that I'm supporting a business that is changing the livelihood of people.
What is your favorite thing about Fair Trade and/or Global Gifts?
My favorite thing about Global Gifts is the people that I meet and see each shift. You meet all sorts of different people in the Short North, and you learn all sorts of different things from them. Sometimes it may be a restaurant suggestion, and sometimes it's a little bit of a life story and why they're buying the things they are. It's always a good time at Global Gifts.
What is your favorite Fair Trade product or artisan group?
My favorite fair trade product is chocolate and alpaca slippers!! If you've volunteered with me in the past 2 months, you've definitely heard me talk about the cloud slippers and DELISH peppermint cup chocolates!
Do you have a favorite country where Fair Trade products are sourced and represented in our stores?
My favorite country is definitely Peru. They always provide us with the best alpaca products to keep us warm, and I really like how organized our alpaca section is!
Any advice for new volunteers?
Some tips I have for new volunteers are 1. don't be scared to mess up, the Global Gifts team is full of the most compassionate, caring, and understanding people ever, and they won't be mad if you make a mistake or accidentally check out someone on the card only register. 2. It's okay to ask questions, if you don't know something, that's understandable. It's a ton of information and I'm still learning something new every day. 3. don't go too deep in the basement because you will encounter a mannequin and it will scare you, I would know from experience.
Feel inspired to join our team?
We always need volunteers and we'd love to have you! You can submit an application online here.